Philippine celebrity team plays Filipino OFWs in Taiwan basketball tournament

Filipino OFW basketball team plays close match with Philippine celebrity squad in 'Kapamilya Playoffs' in Taiwan's Taichung

Players in action. (Photo from Jocelyn T. Jimenez)

Players in action. (Photo from Jocelyn T. Jimenez)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A team of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) played a close game with a celebrities team from the Philippines in the finals of the "Kapamilya Playoffs in Taiwan," which took place at the Fengyuan District Stadium, in Taichung, Taiwan.

The event was organized by the Filipino media conglomerate ABS-CBN and its global television network, The Filipino Channel (TFC), with the support of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan by Chairman and Resident Representative Mr. Angelito T. Banayo.

The basketball tournament kicked off with the RJD North Taiwan Team "Saints" facing off against the FAR EAST EXPRESS Taiwan South TaiPhil Team "Visayas." The game was a seesaw battle which went to the wire, until the Visayas finally pulled out the victory with a final score of 70 to 69.

In the finals, the Star Magic Team, made up of Filipino celebrities, squared off against the Taiwan South team. The Star Magic Team was composed of Gerald Anderson, JC De Vera, Ronnie Alonte, Axel Torres, Zeus Collins, Jimboy Martin, JV Kapunan, Jose Sarasola, Gerhard Acao, and Joe Vargas.

Star Magic team. (Photo from Marita Gonzales Wong)

Meanwhile, the Taiwan South Visayas roster included Louie Bayeta, Chilo Sumalpong, Vicente Gonzaga, Manuel Gargalicana, Juvel Chicano, Michael Bangloy, Ronnie Bernabe, Stephen Villasis, Lloyd Bayeta, Jhocel Benlot, Aldin Godes, Jonas Gacayan, William Tio, Ariel Bulactin, Robert Rio, and. Alvin Ferrer. The team was coached by Jesse James T. Trinidad.

South Taiwan TaiPhil Team Visayas. (Photo by Marita Gonzales Wong)

Before the much-awaited second game, ten participants joined the "Shoot That Ball" game where seven winners took home a basketball jersey with signatures from the Kapamilya stars.

With everyone hyped up over the last match that day, loud cheers welcomed both the OFW and the celebrity teams when they were called to enter the court. The first half of the game was action-packed, with halftime score being 44-48, in favor of the Star Magic Team.

While the players prepared their strategy for the second half, dance floor diva Maja Salvador provided a show-stopping halftime performance. Her energy-level was so high that she had the audience singing and dancing along with her every song.

Halftime performance by Maja Salvador. (Jocelyn T. Jimenez)

When play resumed, the heated action continued, with both tough defense and outstanding outside shooting. At the end of the intense game, the Star Magic Team was crowned champions by winning 99 to 95.

The most valuable player was Jimbody Martin, while the winner of the Rookie of the Year award was Ronnie Alonte, who is also part of the "Mythical Five," together with other Kapamilya stars Gerald Anderson and Jimboy Martin, and Michael Bangloy and Louie Bayeta from South Taiwan TaiPhil.

Commenting on hosting the event, ABS-CBN North Asia Country Manager Eric Santos said, "Through this event, we were able to bridge our fellow overseas Filipinos in Taiwan with counterparts back home by having them enjoy and play a basketball game, not only among themselves, but also with some of their favorite artists."

More action during the game. (Jocelyn T. Jimenez)

The Star Magic Team applauded the performance of the Taiwan Overseas Filipino Team during their game, and thanked them for giving their time to play a basketball match with them. Team member Gerald Anderson added, “We hope you were inspired and enjoyed during the basketball match. Being away from the Philippines for a while now, we hope even for a while, we were able to bring you closer to home.”

On the other hand, Salvador was grateful to be given a chance to perform for the overseas Filipinos. "I felt their excitement during my performance and it warms my heart to know that we are the reason they are smiling,” she said.

After the game, VIP ticket holders had the opportunity to take group photos with the Star Magic Team and Salvador.

Jimbody Martin receiving MPV award. (Photo by Marita Gonzales Wong)

Relive the highlights of the "Kapamilya Playoffs in Taiwan" via Video On Demand (VOD) FREE for all registered users on TFC Online (, in most countries worldwide. The schedules are as follows:

  • Starting November 24: Game 1: TaiPhil South Taiwan Team Visayas vs. RJD North Taiwan Team Saints
  • Starting November 25: Game 2: Taiwan Overseas Filipino Team vs. Star Magic Team

For updates about upcoming TFC shows, visit and like the TFC Facebook page. Connect with fellow global Kapamilyas and follow @KapamilyaTFC and KapamilyaGlobalPR on Twitter and Instagram.

TaiPhil South Taiwan Team receives award on Nov. 25. (Photo by Marita Gonzales Wong)